Google Gives Webmasters Alternative To Markup With Data Highlighter

Chris CrumSearchNews

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Google announced the launch of Data Highlighter in Webmaster Tools, a tool for event data (and soon other types of data) that gives them an alternative to having to markup their sites. It lets webmasters show Google pieces of data on a typical event page on their site for use in Google's structured data offerings in search results (like rich snippets and event calendars), by simply pointing and clicking.

"If your page lists multiple events in a consistent format, Data Highlighter will 'learn' that format as you apply tags, and help speed your work by automatically suggesting additional tags," explains product manager Justin Boyan. "Likewise, if you have many pages of events in a consistent format, Data Highlighter will walk you through a process of tagging a few example pages so it can learn about their format variations. Usually, 5 or 10 manually tagged pages are enough for our sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to understand the other, similar pages on your site."

Data Highlighter

"When you're done, you can review a sample of all the event data that Data Highlighter now understands," he adds. "If it's correct, click 'Publish.'"

After you do all of this, Google will recognize your latest event listings and make them eligible for enhanced search results anytime it crawls your site.

The tool can be found under "Optimization" in Webmaster Tools. For now, it's only available in English, but more languages, as well as data types, will be added soon.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.